Archive for bewilderbliss

A Few Words to Fill a Sad, Sad Void… Or, some verbal trailers, if you will.

Posted in Delicious Morsels with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2010 by plumbobrainier

So – yeah.

I’ve not been overly proliferiffic of late.

But there are things on the horizon – OH READER! The metaphorical horizon is metaphorically littered with articles and bluedogposts and ideas for articles and blankhogposts!! These may look like insignificant dots from you’re standing (if they’re visible at all, especially to the young lady with the restricted view from behind the pillar at the back – next time fork out the extra few quid for a proper seat!) but in not too much time at all I hope they will sitting on this webface with disconcerting pride.

These are just a few of the things looking to squelch out of the pipeline in the coming hours, days and weeks:

Arise, Ms. Bullock!

1. A long overdue assessment of the filmographic works and humanitarian achievements of Ms. Sandra Bullock.

2. An in-depth discussion of the postmodernist narratology which pervades the musical output of Mr. Owen Pallett, of Toronto, Canada.*

Robin Hood fell ill - Mr. Pallett dons the tights!

*Mr. Owen Pallett’s latest album, ‘Heartland,’ was called a “firecracker of an album” by Pope Benedict the 16th, and “the soundtrack to my life getting really good then falling apart far too quickly” by Pope Benedict the 16th. These rave adulations make an assessment of Mr. Pallett’s literary value particularly pertinent.

3. A guest feature! The Paris Review has kindly donated an overlong and overtedious interview with an author, whose talent is only matched (and possily even superceded) by his obscurity. Tune in to find out who! (special prizes for the young scamperoo who can guess! Who says literature can’t be more fun than a parade?)

4. A review of page 53 of ‘Don Quixote’; the Cervantes version, not the Menard.

5. A tantalising teaser of Andy Johnston’s forthcoming, sure-to-be-earth-shattering novel, translated into Russian and then back into English.

6. The full publication of the above author’s Bewilderbliss-printed story (which was met with a belligerently hostile review within the four walls of this ettablisement), but with a twist! The English has been translated into Portuguese, and the Portuguese has been translated into English.

7. A 15,000 word description of my face.

Watch out! You’re drooling on your keyboard with anticipation!!

Love

P. R.

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A Review of a Story from Bewilderbliss

Posted in Reviews of Literary Outpour with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by plumbobrainier

Oh dear.

Didn’t Hemingway go out with the Ark?

Shotgun (w/ Hemingway attached)

We’ve all seen and heard the rave pre-announcements, shout-outs and reviews of the latest issue of Bewilderbliss, Manchester’s premier student-led literary organ; but what could possibly have possessed the editorial staff to publish the story, “Uma Amiga” by Andy Johnston, which sits like some diabolical vomit puddle on pages 48 through 53?

If ever a story was borne out of a creative writing workshop exercise, this is it. Shades of Ernest Shotgunmouth abound in everything from the clipped sentences to the imbecilic vocabulary, from the setting (a cafe, for goodship’s sake!) to the Iberian language! It’s just “A Clean, Well-lighted Place” with Portuguese people, and some different characters, and a completely different theme.

Speaking of the characters, never has a story of this brevity repeated the words “old waiter”, “younger waiter” and “young woman” more often than this one. By the end, I felt like three people (two of whom were waiters) had been bashed through the front of my skull.

Cliches fly in from all quarters. There’s the woman in black (a femme fatale as it turns out, who even wears sunglasses, has a cigarillo case, and smokes!), the old/young double act, and even a cheating husband, who (surprise-surprise!) gets his head bashed in. One can only assume Mr. Johnston ate a few pulp novels, masticated them until even pulpier, then spat the mess onto his submission.

When he’s not describing wholly inane actions (“the water fell back and stopped,” “Miguel shrugged,” “She lifted a gloved hand,” “Miguel was holding a metal table,” “The old waiter pointed,” “Miguel was still holding the table,”), Mr. Johnston indulges in overwritten, malapropic nonsense:

“The young woman shrugged, lit her cigarette and walked away, birthing bent pillars of smoke, which trailed behind her.”

Artist's Rendering of Ark (gone out now)

Birthing? And how would she create pillars (pillars?) of smoke? How this made it past the copy-editing phase, I haven’t the faintest idea. I can only assume bribery, or some inappropriate favour was involved (although I certainly wouldn’t want to bring the name of Bewilderbliss into disrepute).

Mr. Johnston, had felicity granted him sense, might also have provided translations of the Portuguese he uses, perhaps included as footnotes. It is, however, clear that it is his intention to alienate the reader. It is anyone’s guess what Fode-se, Senhora, or Bom could mean.

Glancing at his Biog, it is sad to note that Mr. Johnston is wasting everybody’s time on a prestigious MA programme at Manchester Univercity. I plan to write to him and make him reconsider his continuing attendance as a public service.

(Andy Johnston’s “Uma Amiga” appears in Issue 3 of Bewilderbliss, available in Blackwells and The Cornerhouse, £4)

The Third Hour of Bewilderbliss

Posted in Good Eve'news with tags , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by plumbobrainier

Cormac McCarthy's latest finds him experimenting with plot, form and presentation to a bewildering degree

This is a shameless plug.

If, like me and over 400,00 other human beings of both genders, you live in Manchester, England, then you can get your finger-filled hands on a literary magazine called “Bewilderbliss” (now on Issue 3).

Famous author and elbow rubber, Jenn Ashworth, set a theme of “Untruth” (untruth?) and literally dozens of writers, young and old, rose to the challenge of writing fiction (which is inherently, necessarily, untruthful) that could live up to the diabolical challenge set by that theme. They all managed superbly. But not everyone was chosen. I hear their editing staff is ruthless. And their budget low.

N-E-weigh; the magazine costs FOUR POUNDS, looks nice (unless you leave drinks on it), and has stories, poems and drawings (2 of them) of not inconsiderable quality in it.

Love,

P. R.

And here‘s a link to the Bewilderbliss site…